Jo Swinson Says Stop Brexit Legislation is Ready to Go

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said that legislation to stop Brexit is ready to go should the party win the General Election.

Swinson, who is standing as the party’s candidate in East Dunbartonshire, said:

“We have legislation ready to go to secure a People’s Vote with the option to stay in the EU. As soon as Parliament returns, we would introduce two bills. The first would be a ‘Paving Bill’ to begin the referendum process with the Electoral Commission. The second would be on the referendum itself.”

Boris Johnson’s Pledge to Leave EU on 31 October is Scrapped

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has confirmed that his pledge to leave the European Union won’t be met on 31 October 2019 and the country will remain for a longer period. A spokesperson for the European Union has granted a three-month extension period, which Donald Tusk, the EU Council President, has called a “Flextension”.

Johnson had said during the Conservative Party leadership hustings that he would ensure that the country would leave the EU on 31 October 2019. In early September 2019, Johnson added that “I’d rather be dead in a ditch than agree a Brexit extension”. Downing Street confirmed today that there would now be a Brexit extension, but blamed Parliament for not helping the Prime Minister to deliver it.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn Fail to Agree on Brexit Strategy

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, met with Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, today in a bid to resolve a future timetabling strategy for Brexit. Johnson, who had pledged that the UK would leave the European Union on 31 October 2019, however failed to reach an agreement on how to progress the current political deadlock.

British Government and European Union Reach a Deal

The British Government and the European Union have reached a deal which will now be put in front of Parliament on Saturday. Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, both issued updates on Twitter saying that agreement has been secured.

Boris Johnson posted:

“We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control — now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment #GetBrexitDone #TakeBackControl”

Jean-Claude Juncker posted:

“Where there is a will, there is a #deal – we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal.”

Boris Johnson Refuses to Resign Over Causing Constitutional Crisis

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has said that he will not be resigning following his unlawful request to prorogue Parliament, which has triggered a constitutional crisis. The Prime Minister is expected to return to the UK early in an attempt to repair the damage to the Government’s reputation.

Speaking in New York, the Prime Minister said:

“Obviously this is a verdict that we will respect and we respect the judicial process. I have to say that I strongly disagree with what the justices have found.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, said in a statement:

“A Labour government would want to be held to account. We wouldn’t bypass democracy. And I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position.”

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said on Twitter:

“The Prime Minister must resign to make way for an emergency Government that can stop a No Deal Brexit. The @LibDems will keep fighting for People’s Vote and to stop Brexit altogether.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, said in a statement:

“It is unthinkable given the rules of democracy and accountability that has been found to have acted unlawfully and is subject of that kind of judgement delivered today would stay in office.”

Mark Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, said in a statement:

“The Prime Minister has been found to have acted unlawfully and in a way deliberately designed to subvert our democracy. How does anybody in that position think that they can carry on?”

Liz Saville Roberts, the leader of Plaid Cymru at Westminster, said in a statement:

“Boris Johnson has already driven a bulldozer through the constitution, so no longer are ideas like impeachment far-fetched. I will tell other opposition party leaders, we need to be ready to impeach Boris Johnson if he breaks the law.”

Boris Johnson Meets with Jean-Claude Juncker

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has today met with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, in Luxembourg to discuss matters relating to the Brexit agreement.

A statement issued by the European Commission said:

“President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Johnson had a working lunch today in Luxembourg. The aim of the meeting was to take stock of the ongoing technical talks between the EU and the UK and to discuss the next steps.

President Juncker recalled that it is the UK’s responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement. President Juncker underlined the commission’s continued willingness and openness to examine whether such proposals meet the objectives of the backstop. Such proposals have not yet been made.

The commission will remain available to work 24/7. The October European council will be an important milestone in the process. The EU27 remain united.”

A spokesperson for Johnson said:

“The Prime Minister and President Juncker had a constructive meeting this lunchtime. The Brexit Secretary and Michel Barnier were also in attendance.

The leaders agreed that the discussions needed to intensify and that meetings would soon take place on a daily basis. It was agreed that talks should also take place at a political level between Michel Barnier and the Brexit Secretary, and conversations would also continue between President Juncker and the Prime Minister.”

Scottish Court Rules Suspension of Parliament as Unlawful

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has denied that he lied to the Queen following a decision made by the highest civil court in Scotland that his request to prorogue Parliament was unlawful. The decision made by the Scottish courts will be tested by the Supreme Court next week, with the possibility that Parliament may be recalled.

The Prime Minister said in an interview with the BBC that he had “absolutely not” lied to the Queen, but he refused to release documents requested by the House of Commons which would further clarify the situation. He also refused to recall Parliament, saying that the matter would be decided on in the Supreme Court.

Valerie Vaz, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said in a statement:

“In light of today’s judgement that the government misled the Queen and that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful, and null and of no effect, please confirm that Parliament will be recalled without delay.”

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, posted on Twitter:

“Scottish judges have found in favour of 75 MPs (including me and other
@LibDems.) We argued that Boris Johnson’s Parliament shutdown is illegal, and designed to stifle parliamentary debate and action on Brexit.”

Conservative Government Lose Majority as MP Defects to Liberal Democrats

The Government has today lost its majority in the House of Commons following the defection of Phillip Lee, the MP for Bracknell, to the Liberal Democrats. Lee, who had been a member of the Conservative Party for 27 years, crossed the floor of the Chamber of the House of Commons during Boris Johnson’s statement on the G7.

Lee said in a letter to the Prime Minister:

“The Brexit process has helped to transform this once great party in to something more akin to a narrow faction, where an individual’s conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the European Union.”

 

Sir John Major Joins Legal Action Over Proroguing Parliament

Sir John Major, the Prime Minister from 1990 until 1997, has confirmed that he is joining in with legal action to question the advice behind the decision to prorogue Parliament.

Major said in a statement:

“I promised that, if the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament in order to prevent Members from opposing his Brexit plans, I would seek judicial review of his action. In view of the imminence of the prorogation – and to avoid duplication of effort, and taking up the Court’s time through repetition – I intend to seek the Court’s permission to intervene in the claim already initiated by Gina Miller, rather than to commence separate proceedings.”

Clive Coleman, the BBC’s legal correspondent, said:

“You could scarcely have more heavyweight support in this legal challenge to try and stop the suspension of Parliament. We are in unprecedented times and this is an unprecedented intervention.”

Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said on Twitter:

“Proroguing Parliament is an unprecedented affront to democracy. The rights and freedoms of our citizens have been vandalised. I will be joining the Judicial Review launched in the High Court by Gina Miller and supported by John Major.”

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said in a statement:

“The attempt to shut down Parliament is an anti-democratic, authoritarian power grab by Boris Johnson, who wants to silence the people and their representatives.

The Liberal Democrats are doing all we can, both in the courts and in Parliament, to prevent both the shutdown of our democracy and a no-deal Brexit. That’s why I’ll be joining the High Court judicial review launched by Gina Miller.”

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, denied that the timing was meant to limit debate on Brexit, saying:

“We are coming up to the last period before we leave on 31 October and in that period, Parliament is going to have a lot to time – they’ve spent three years debating Brexit by the way without actually getting it over the line. They are going to have a lot of time for further consideration.”